A Timeline Of Major Events Surrounding The Covid-19 Outbreak

By Kathleen Allan on March 13 2020 in Society

Nurse holding test tube with blood for 2019-nCoV analyzing.
Nurse holding test tube with blood for 2019-nCoV analyzing.
  • Covid-19 is very contagious
  • There is currently 134,000 cases confirmed worldwide
  • It can cause a range of respiratory illnesses

The Covid-19  (or "coronavirus") pandemic is sweeping the world. Here is a timeline of how it spread

The discovery

December 31, 2019

Officials in Wuhan, China discover dozens of cases of pneumonia arising from an unknown cause.

A new coronavirus

January 7, 2020

They identify the illness as viral disease cause by a new coronavirus. 

China reports first death

January 11, 2020

The first person to die from the new coronavirus was a 61-year-old man who was a regular customer at a market in Wuhan. The illness is thought to have originated in the market. 

Coronavirus begins to spread to other countries

January 20, 2020

First, it spread to Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. The following day, the first confirmed case in the United States is reported in Washington State. 

Chinese authorities lock down Wuhan

January 23, 2020

The 11 million people in Wuhan were closed off from the rest of the world as Chinese authorities cancel all trains, buses, planes, subways, and ferries that would allow people to travel. 

The death toll rises to 17.

World Health Organization declares global health emergency

January 30, 2020

The World Health Organization China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman declares a “public health emergency of international concern”. Thousands of cases of the new virus emerge throughout China.

Trump restricts travel from China

January 31, 2020

Anyone who was not a citizen or permanent resident would not be allowed into the United States if they had traveled to China in the last 14 days.

Death toll rises to 213, with approximately 9800 people infected worldwide. 

First reported coronavirus death outside of China

February 2, 2020

As the total death toll rose to 360, a 44-year-old Phillipino man died. He was the first reported death outside China. 

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is quarantined

February 5, 2020

Over 3,600 passengers are quarantined aboard a cruise ship outside Yokohama. The Diamond Princess cruise ship outbreak resulted in seven deaths and 705 infections. 

Doctor who raised concerns about China's handling of the virus dies

February 7, 2020

Chinese Doctor Li Wenliang was reprimanded by Chinese authorities after trying to alert citizens to concerns over infections that could multiply into widespread illness. 

He died after contracting Covid-19. Dr. Li was hailed as a hero, and his death sparked anger amongst many due to the government's silencing of whistleblowers. 

China's death toll surpasses worldwide SARS death toll

February 10, 2020

The SARS epidemic in the early 2000s resulted in 774 deaths. In China alone, the death toll was at 908. 40,171 people within the country were infected. 

First death outside of Asia

February 14, 2020

The first European death due to coronavirus happened at a hospital in Paris. The victim was a 80-year-old Chinese tourist. 

Eating wildlife is legislated in China

February 14, 2020

After identifying the source of the outbreak as a market in Wuhan that sold wildlife for consumption, China drafted legislation to end this practice. 

443 passengers are allowed off the Diamond Princess

February 19, 2020

Those who did not have symptoms and tested negative for the virus were allowed to leave the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. 

Covid-19 spreads to Iran

February 19, 2020

Hours after announcing 2 cases in Iran, both patients were announced dead. It is not known how the virus arrived in Iran.

Global cases rise to 76,000

February 20, 2020

The World Health Organization said that there are nearly 76,000 cases worldwide. 

Italy faces outbreak of Covid-19

February 23, 2020

The number of cases surged to 150, prompting some Italian cities to shut down entirely. Schools and other public places are closed. 

Trump administration asks for $1.25 billion from Congress to help fight Covid-19

February 24, 2020

As the United States began to prepare for Covid-19 to hit the country, the administration asked for emergency funding to prepare for an outbreak. There had not been any deaths within America at the time.

Iran's death toll climbs

February 24, 2020

Outside of China, the country with the most cases and deaths was Iran. Iran reported 61 cases of Covid-19 and 12 deaths. 

Covid-19 spreads to Latin America

February 26, 2020

Covid-19 reached Italy as a 61-year-old man from São Paulo contracted the disease while on a business trip to Italy.

Infections rise in Europe

February 28, 2020

Italy remained the European center of the Covid-19 outbreak with 800 people infected. By this point, the disease had also reached 14 other countries, including the UK, Switzerland, France, Belarus, Estonia, and Lithuania.

Germany had almost 60 cases at this time, while France reported 57. 

Covid-19 spreads to Sub-Saharan Africa

February 28, 2020

The first case of Covid-19 is confirmed in Nigeria. 

First American Covid-19 death

February 28, 2020

The first Covid-19 patient to die in the United States was a patient near Seattle. 

United States announces travel restrictions

February 29, 2020

The United States banned all travel to Iran. Any foreign citizen who visited Iran in the past 14 days was also barred from entering the country. The United States also issued a "do not travel" warning to Italy and South Korea areas hit heavily by Covid-19. 

Global cases reaches 87,000

February 29, 2020

The number of global confirmed cases of Covid-19 rises to almost 87,000.

Iranian Parliament shuts down

March 3, 2020

23 of the 290 members of Iran's parliament test positive for the virus. 2 members had died, and a number of senior government officials had contracted the disease. 

Covid-19 declared a pandemic

March 11, 2020

The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic

United States bars Travel from Europe

March 11, 2020

President Trump temporarily banned all travel from Europe.

134,000 cases confirmed worldwide

March 12, 2020

Global confirmed cases rose to 134,000

More in Society